Fortress of Solitude

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There has always been an urge in me to find my fortress of solitude wherever I have landed.

 

As a child, it was on top of a rock down a gully towards the creek in our backyard.  The trees surrounding the rock permitted just enough space for a stream of sunlight to break through and spotlight directly on the rock.  I believed that when I sat on the rock I was invisible to everything except for G-d.  It was my direct contact with G-d and protection from the world.  I would sit there for hours, daydreaming, reading, drawing, playing barbies etc.  Occasionally I fell asleep there until the sunlight stretched itself out of range and I could hear my mother calling me back to the house.

 

When we moved to Germany, my bedroom balcony became my fortress.  It was a shared balcony with my sister’s room.  She never came outside to use the balcony, so I claimed it as my own and remained unchallenged for the duration.  The balcony looked out onto our small sloped garden and a wild hill.  At the top of the hill was a nursing home with balconies for residents.  Sometimes one of these older people would wave if I looked their way.  It always seemed to me that they were angels looking down to see what was happening in the world. They appeared other-worldly and therefore did not feel like an interruption to my solitude, but rather an integral part of it like the sky or a ceiling of protection.

 

Returning to the USA, we moved back into the house we left.  I had a room to myself by then because my sister left for college.  The rock I left behind was now covered with overgrown woodland plants.  The trees were much larger and unable to allow space for the sunlight to pass through onto the same spot as before.  My fortress relocated to the now massively overgrown willow tree at the top of the gully’s entrance.  I kissed a boyfriend there once and felt sad that I had breached my fortress’s solitude.  Of course, I enjoyed the activity.  What I did not enjoy was having opened the space to someone who clearly did not have the same reverence.

 

Moving on to college, I lost my ability to establish a space for myself.  Everything was geared towards this forced temporary instantly intimate community at all times in all places and all spaces.  It was too much for me and I believe was a pivotal point in my health, due in part to the lack of solitude.

 

I developed my own portable fortresses.  Headphones, disc player, books, weight, etc  to now phone, earbuds, laptop, books, foldable sport chair with cover!  Anything to help me disappear.

 

Events in my childhood, and adulthood propelled me to have this drive.  I’m sure that a few of you can guess those kinds of events: sensory sensitivities, molestation, rape, emotional abuse, blah blah blah, hotel stalker tried to purchase me as a bride when I was 12 (the stories of so many of us).

 

Exploring how to carve out healthy spaces for myself is another area that matches with my boundary works.

 

My foldable chair with lid is blue – like the frozen tundra of Superman’s Fortress of Solitude.  I like it and register your surprise at that, if you know me and know that I detest blue furniture for myself.  But this isn’t real furniture.  Plus, FORTRESS of SOLITUDE.  Well, it’s more of a safety blanket, really.  So, I should call it “Linus’s Friend” instead. Nope, that does not have the same impact, even though I love Linus.  Superman for the win!

 

When you see me with my chair at the pool, park, games, concerts, etc it does not mean that I do not want to engage with you.  I like you (except Green Lantern)! It gives me a defined space to be, that’s all.  I am a work in progress using the tools I have available to me and I like having something in common with a superhero, even if he is the enemy of Mr. Batman.

 

 

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

 

*POOF*

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Hardly anyone phones me up.

This is NOT a plea for anyone to call me on the telephone.  I am horrible on the telephone.  Without physical conversation cues, I’m all flustered with silences, weird pauses, speaking over each other, dropping the phone and then explaining how the phone dropped, wandering mind, etc

 

Actually, even with physical conversation cues, I am quite awkward.

 

Anywho…

 

When my telephone buzzes (I rarely have the sound on because the noise is too jarring for me – and, yes ALL the ringtones are jarring to my sensitive ears, including harp, but thank you for the suggestion), and I do not recognize the incoming number, I do not answer the telephone.

 

There is always this lingering worry that it will be MrexH, or someone in his family, and they will be angry and horrid with me, MrexH might express his interest in murdering me again.  Or something awful has happened and a Police Officer, State Trooper, or even worse, my attorney, is contacting me with the bad news.  I am not ready for any of those things – again.

 

Or, it could be a telemarketer, and I do not want to speak with them either.

 

Last week, my telephone rang in the morning, with an incoming number that I do not know – however, this was a number for my city/state.  ALARM BELLS went off in my brain and I let the phone ring 4 times before I decided to bite the bullet of fear and answer the telephone.

 

It was the assistant from my attorney’s office.

Uh-Oh

As soon as I heard her voice, my stomach split in two and dropped into my legs.

 

The call was benign, as calls go.  But, it took me a while to calm down just from the stress of contact with my attorney’s office.  The office assistant is a lovely person, and has gone out of her way to be kind and welcoming to me.  It’s the whole idea of knowing why we have a relationship at all, that is upsetting.

 

She wanted me to stop by the office and pick up some hard copies from my divorce case, and decide if there was anything that I wanted to keep.

We set up a time for me to do that.

I drove into my little downtown, parked in the courthouse parking deck, and walked to my attorney’s office across the street.

 

By this time, my mind was completely blank and numb.  I have to go into this space of, “What would Oprah do right now?” and just keep moving forward.  Oprah would just jay-walk across that one-way street in front of the courthouse and all of those parked police vehicles, and be confident in her stride into her attorney’s office.  Or was it Dr. Phil’s office that she strode confidently into?  It was somewhere, and Dr. Phil was there, the cattle farmers lost their case against Oprah, and Dr. Phil got his own show as a side bonus!

 

I did the jay-walk thing, minus the confident stride, and plus twisting my hair into a giant knot on top of my head as I walked because it was ridiculously hot and humid – so also minus any of Oprah’s presence or finesse.

 

The paperwork consisted of a 5 inch thick stack.

 

It was too nervewracking for me to stay in the office and look through the daunting stack, so I said my, “thank-you”s, and skeedaddled out of there.

 

I felt more confident walking back to my car, because I had an impressive stack of papers to hold – like a comfort blankie.

More Linus than Oprah.

Out of that stack of papers, the only piece that seemed worth saving was the less than 1/4inch bound deposition of MrexH official transcript.

That transcript = $640

Just for the copy of the transcript.

 

This amount does not include the cost of my attorney’s time, SonHerisme attorney’s time, or my time, or my severe emotional strain, or the stupid (yet delicious) take-out tomato soup I stepped out to eat at our lunch break, OR my parking costs…

 

Ugh

So. Much. F’in. Money.

Just gone.

*POOF*

 

The rest of the paperwork?

I shoved it into the chiminea at 10am and had myself a lil’ ol’ bonfahr

*POOF*

 

Sadly, no marshmallows were consumed.

This fiery episode sounds like it should have been cathartic.  It was not.  I did not feel anything other than now I did not have to file the remainder of the papers.

*POOF*

Do not panic if you are unable to reach me by telephone.  I have not disappeared, although some days I would like to do so.  I am only nervous and awkward and frightened and concerned.

 *POOF*

 

I wish I could magic all of that away too!

Love, Ms. Herisme xo

ps.  Thank you, oh great tribe of friends, for sticking with me!